Wednesday, February 24, 2010

3 Winners & the start of a new giveaway!

Can I just say that you guys are AWESOME!?!  Thanks so much for spreading the word about my new little business.  I think we almost TRIPLED the number of followers of this blog ~ that's crazy!  I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the nice comments you left for me (it actually kept me REALLY busy reading them and trying to respond to them.  I didn't quite get to everyone, but I tried.)  I enjoyed getting to know all of you a little better and checking out many of your blogs/projects.  You guys have really inspired me!  Thanks again for all of your support.  You're so sweet! ♥ ♥ ♥

Although I have been really busy on the computer, I've managed to sneak some time here and there on my sewing machine.  I thought I'd share some photos to give you a little sneak peak at some of the projects I've got going right now. 

This is going to be another Sugar and Spice quilt in 30's red, white and blue fabrics.  I love this pattern because it would be great in any color scheme.  The orignial was made for my little girl in pinks, purples, aquas and greens, but I also think it would be fabulous in Christmas fabrics too. 
Here are some leftover scraps.  How big of a scrap do you save to put in your stash?  I normally would throw these pieces away, but decided to put them to good use (since 30's prints are few and far between in my house).  I've got a nice little section of another quilt going - made out of these scraps.  If you make Sugar and Spice, save your scraps - I'll show you one idea of what you can make with them (soon I promise).

I received my fabric request from Moda the other day so that I could remake Candy Hearts for the Moda Bakeshop.  They sent me Plume by Tula Pink to make it out of.  You should check out Tula's site, if you have not.  She is one seriously amazing designer!  Candy Hearts is at the quilters' right now and should be back today or tomorrow. 
So.  Enough babbling.  On to things you're really interested in (come on, you know that's why you're still reading! :)

Let me tell you who the 3 winners are of the Week 1 Giveaway:

#171: carmel said... and i blogged about it thanks!

#111: Tammy said... Yeah I'm a follower!!! excited to see where the quilting road takes you!! Im also a lover of quilting and am thrilled to add you to our world.


#103: kimland said... Your patterns are beautiful, unique and fresh! Congrats on a dream come true!

** Ladies, please send me your mailing info and I'll get these patterns off to you!


Thanks again to everyone who played!
(For anyone who didn't win, but is still interested in purchasing these patterns you can go to my etsy shop here.  For 1 week: all patterns will be $1 off!)

Keep reading because this is where another giveaway is about to begin.  And, I'm really excited about this one! 

Week 2 Giveaway:
One winner will win this: 
A Santorini Layer Cake generously donated by Lila Tueller herself!  She also threw in one of her patterns for the Stella skirt.  Now, she said that I could keep the pattern or give it away and since you all have been SO sweet, I am sharing the love (even though I really want to keep it!)  Oh, and if you haven't heard she is doing a fabulous giveaway on her blog right now (until Sunday, I think.)  To enter to win a really beautiful quilt made out of her new Eden line of fabric, click here.  Be sure to tell her how sweet she is! 

Along with the Layer Cake and Stella pattern, the winner will also receive my Mod Medallions quilt pattern (which is Layer Cake friendly!)  On my Mod Medallions quilt I used Lila's Soiree fabric on the border.  I love that fabric - it inspired the whole color scheme.  So I thought it would be fun to let you guys make Mod M's with some of her fabric too!  Fun huh?


So that's it.  Pretty great giveaway right? 

The rules are the same as last time, but please note that for each entry, you must leave a different comment, because (our friend) the Random Number Generator, is going to pick a winner.  If you combine all of this info into one comment then you will only get one chance to win.

Here are some ways you can get entries:
* leave me a comment telling me what you do to entertain yourself while you sew.
* let me know if you're a follower of my blog
* post about this giveaway on your blog and leave me a link 
* Leave Lila a comment under her giveaway post telling her how awesome she is!  Then come back and tell me you did that.

That's it.  4 possible entries.  I'll pick a winner Wednesday morning.  Have fun!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Introducing: Gigi's Thimble

After a long time of working and waiting, waiting and working, my first 3 patterns are now ready to present to you!  

Before I get to the giveaway part of this post though, I thought I'd share a little bit about how and why I got started designing quilts.  


First, the name of my little business: Gigi's Thimble

Where it came from:
My Grandma Baldridge has been an avid quilter as long as I can remember.  It has always been "her thing" and up until about 11 years ago it didn't seem like anyone else in the family was following suit.  My mom had always been a great seamstress and often tried to get me to make clothes and such, but it never really interested me.  I had just gotten married and was over at my grandma's house one day when I had the spontaneous feeling to ask her if she would teach me how to quilt.  It wasn't something that I had thought too much about (prior to my asking) but as we got started I quickly found that I shared the same passion as her.  She told me to first pick a pattern, so I told her about a quilt that was for sale at a store called The Quilted Bear.  I really liked it so we proceeded to mimick the design.  The thought never occured to me to actually go to a quilt store and pick out one of their patterns!  But, I felt it was easy enough to figure out for myself.  I was really drawn to it's scrappiness.  All of the prints were plaids, checks and stripes.  The blocks were Court House Step blocks.  My grandma and I spent many days over the next few months going to local quilt shops together and collecting fabrics that were either - plaids, checks or stripes in blues, reds, golds and greens.  She taught me about the importance of using good quality fabrics and then we started working on the quilt.  She taught me about pre-washing my fabric (so as to eliminate any bleeding or shrinking), the importance of cutting precisely (she seemed to tease me a little bit about what a perfectionist I was when it came to that), how to match up seams, do mitered corners, the binding -basically the whole nine yards.  That first quilt took me about 3 years (if I remember correctly) because when I went to square up my blocks they were all coming out to be different sizes!  I was getting so frustrated!  When I showed my husband and asked what could be the problem, he asked me if I was staying true to the 1/4" seam allowance I was suppose to be using.  Well, I learned the hard way that if you're off slightly on every seam, it can make a big difference in the overall size of the blocks.  After putting it away and then pulling it back out many times I finally finished the quilt.  Somewhere in that time, my grandma (better known as "Gigi" by her great-grandchildren) gave me a thimble.  I still use it to this day (mostly when I do my bindings, as I am not much of a hand quilter.)  With every stitch I take I think of her.  We share the same passion.  Quilting has truly bonded us together.  We continue to "talk quilting" and sometimes go to quilt guild meetings together when we get the chance.  I'm thankful to share a common thread with my grandma and will always treasure the times we've spent together shopping, stitching & embracing the art of quilting. 

Here's a picture of that quilt we made together:

So when I started thinking of owning my own quilting business, I knew the name had to involve Gigi.  After playing around with some names, I finally decided on Gigi's Thimble. 

The push to get started:
One day I happened upon Moda's Fabricmatcher website.  They were doing a contest where you had to use all of Fig Tree's fabrics to design a quilt online.  The judge was Joanna Figueroa (from Fig Tree).  I decided to give it a "go" and was completely ecstatic when she chose my design to be the grand prize winner.  How lucky was I?!?  My husband had just gotten laid off from his job, so I was so excited to have some fabric to play with and keep me busy.  Moda generously sent me 2 fat quarter bundles and a bunch of Joanna's patterns.  As I was showing my hubby which patterns I was going to make first, he said, "Why don't you do one of your own patterns?"  So, I said, "o.k!"  Shortly after starting that first quilt, I talked with a friend that gave me that extra push I needed.  She's had a dream of selling a CD of her music (she is amazingly good and should have gone to Broadway) so together we decided that we were going to pursue our dreams.  We often talk to see how the other is doing and to offer encouragement and support.  

In the end, this process has taken a lot longer than I think it should have.  I've tried to figure it all out and do it all on my own.  I've realized that I am not a graphic designer and I am not a photographer.  I am a quilter.  Hopefully I will get better at both of those other areas, but in the meantime I hired a friend to make the cover sheets for me.  They are so much better than I could have done myself and after hiring her, I finally have my patterns.  I also had Mary of Mary's Cottage Quilts offering support.  Mary has been so sweet to answer questions for me from time to time and I really appreciate her kindness and willingness to share lots of great tips with me.  Thanks Mary!!!      

So without further ado, here are my first 3 patterns:

   
    

                    

and

    


What do you think???

I'm just so excited that I've finally got my patterns done so I would ♥ ♥ ♥ to give away some copies, along with some other fun stuff.  Over the next 3 weeks I will be doing 3 giveaways because of my 3 new patterns! 

Grab this button from my sidebar to help spread the word:

This week I will be giving away a set of my first 3 patterns to 3 different people!!!

Here's what you can do to get entered into this week's giveaway:

1.) Just leave me a comment below to receive one entry.
2.) If you are a follower of my blog then leave me a comment that says "follower" for one more entry.
3.) If you want to help a girl out by spreading the word about my new pattern design company then grab this button and blog about this giveaway.  Leave me a comment that says "blog" for one more entry.

This week's giveaway will end at midnight on Tuesday, February 23rd with the  winner announced Wednesday morning. 

I also just want to say thanks for all of your support and encouragement (and patience) as I've been working on this.  This has been really fun and exciting for me and I hope that you will enjoy my patterns! 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I've never done a 30's quilt before...

Look what I got yesterday ~
The Fourth of July will be here before we know it & we'll need some displays for the store...
So this is what I picked out.  The pattern will be one of mine (I'll show you soon).  The patterns were suppose to be ready on Monday.  It's now Saturday.  I haven't heard anything.  I'm trying to be patient.  I'm not doing a very good job.
I'll try to just focus on this for now.  New fabric makes me happy. 
Now I'm off to the cutting table...

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Winner

of this:
is...


True Random Number Generator


Min: 1
Max: 23
Result: 8
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

So that means...wait, let me see...I don't know yet...oh!  Sheddy!  Yay! 

"sheddy said...



You're number one in my Google Reader. Read you every morning. Keep up the great work."

Thanks Sheddy!  Just send me your info and I'll pop this baby in the mail to you (oh, and a template for the heart.)  Hope you have fun making (& eating) CANDY HEARTS!  Thanks everybody for playing! 

Oh, and guess what else?  Moda Bake Shop wants to feature this on their site!  Kind of fun, huh?  I get to remake it using all Moda fabrics (the fabrics I used on the hearts for this one are from Tanya Whelan's (Free Spirit) Darla collection, if anyone's interested). So, I'm pretty excited!?! 

Hope all of you have a great day!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sharing the Love!

Well, thanks for all your sweet comments on my little Candy Hearts quilt from yesterday.  It really was VERY easy to make and a lot of fun playing with the cheerful colors.  I had bought 2 of those charm packs (for the hearts) from Lanie Jane's liquidation sale during the summer.  The line is called Darla by Tanya Whelan for Free Spirit Fabrics.  I absolutely loved the prints and colors, but wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do with them!?!  Then last week I started feeling like my Happy Anniversary quilt that I have hanging in my entry right now was kind of blah.  I needed something fun for Valentine's day to brighten up these long winter months that seem to be lingering on here in Utah.  

So since you all were so sweet about my design, I have a couple of things I want to give you!  First, a little tutorial for everyone on how to make Candy Hearts and second, one charm pack to one of my followers.  The charm pack is identical to the one I used to make Candy Hearts.  Since I bought two charm packs from L.J.'s and only ended up using one of them for this quilt, I'm sharing the love!  Just become a follower and leave me a comment below (telling me that you did so or that you already are) and I'll enter you in the drawing.  Becoming a follower might not be such a bad idea because you're going to want to know when I start my really special giveaways in celebration of my new patterns!  Prizes will include a Layer Cake from one very special Utah fabric designer, the original quilted wall hanging from one of my new patterns (I'll be sad to see this one go because I made it for my house :(), lots of patterns & possibly some more fabric!  So you're definitely not going to want to miss out on these giveaways!

Well, enough talk.  Now onto that tutorial.

CANDY HEARTS
45" x 54"



Materials: 
1 charm pack or (35) 5" scraps of fabric
1 1/2 yards of light background fabric
(6) 2 1/2"  x 45" strips of fabric for sashing
7 yards of ric rac
1/2 yard for binding
3 yards for backing
  OR 1 3/4 yards plus scraps for a pieced back

Directions:
1.  Create a heart template by cutting a 5" square piece of paper.  Fold it in half and cut out half a heart that measures exactly 4 3/4" from top to bottom.   


2.  Fold one charm square or 5" scrap of fabric in half, right sides together.  Place the folded heart template on the fold of your fabric and trace with a pencil.  With fabric still folded, cut out the half-heart on the traced line.  Repeat with the remaining 34 squares of fabric to make a total of 35 hearts.  Set hearts aside.

3.  Cut out five 7 1/2" x width of fabric strips out of the light background fabric.  Trim them down to 40 1/2". 

4.  To mark the placement of the hearts, fold each strip in half and iron on the fold to mark the center.  Then fold the two ends into the center mark and iron on those two folds.  Lastly, fold the two ends in again meeting at the last two fold marks, creating a total of 5 fold marks in the strip.  The placement for the last two hearts is exactly 5" to the right of the second fold mark and the fourth fold mark. Use a clear ruler to measure 5" away from those fold lines and then line up the center of the two hearts there.
  


5.  Lay out the hearts on the fold marks according to the diagram below:

Center the heart on the fold marks with the point of the heart 1 3/8" away from the edge of the fabric. Pin or glue baste into place.  I used a few dots of Appli-glue on each half of the heart.


6.  Sew 1/4" inside edge of hearts creating a raw edge that will fray when washed.  Clip threads on front and back.  Repeat for all 5 strips of hearts.




7.  For sashing: cut six 2 1/2" x 40 1/2" strips of colored fabric.  Using a pencil, mark a line down the middle of each one. Glue baste a piece of ric rac onto the marked line, leaving about an inch extra in case of fraying.  Stitch down the middle of the ric rac using a thread color that blends.


8.  Sew rows and sashing together, beginning and ending with sashing strips.  Press seams towards sashing.


9.  Cut five 2 1/2" x width of fabric background fabric for the borders.  Sew end to end.  Measure through the middle of the quilt from top to bottom.  Cut two border strips that length and sew to the sides of your quilt.  Press seams towards border.  Then measure through the center of your quilt from side to side and cut two border strips that length.  Sew those to the top and bottom of your quilt.  Press seams towards the border.


10. Quilt and bind!
***

Candy Hearts is perfect for beginners!  This is a quick project and would be great for Valentine's Day or even for that favorite little girl of yours!  I'm thinking about putting a ruffle on mine instead of a regular binding.  Wouldn't that be fun?!?  First I've got to figure out the quilting on it though!  If anyone out there makes it, send me a link, I'd love to see your finished product!

Oh, and don't forget to become a follower and leave me a comment below.  I'll pick a winner for the charm pack on Friday the 13th - at noon! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Love is in the air

Just thought I'd give you a sneak peak of a little project I'm designing.  Think candy hearts and maybe a free pattern!  I gotta go find the perfect ric rac to match so it's time to hop in the shower!
P.S.  I am anticipating a phone call from the printer TODAY saying that my patterns are ready to be picked up!!!  They told me "Monday at the latest", so we'll see if they stick to their word (crossing my fingers!)  I'm got some giveaways up my sleeve so check back soon!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Keeping It Real

I just saw Kerri's latest post, titled, "Keeping it Real".  I thought I'd join in on the fun since I don't usually get too personal on my blog.  Maybe now I'll tell you a little bit more about myself...

Hi.  I'm Amber.  It's nice to meet you. 
[Sorry, but it was hard to find any pictures of me because I'm usually the one behind the camera!  The more I look at this picture I realize that it is a little disturbing.  Please, don't be scared!]

Anyways, I was born in Aneheim, CA.  I moved to Vancouver, WA. when I was six-years-old.  I grew up there and after graduating from High School in 1996, I got the boot from my parents who told me I needed to go to a church college [out of state]. I attended school in Rexburg, ID. for a short time [dare I say that I got kicked out of BYU Idaho!?!  I don't usually announce that, but I'm keeping it real!  My husband gives me a hard time because I get so embarrassed about that fact.  I was just a kid back then who didn't follow ALL the rules who lived with some not very sweet roommates who apparently didn't get pass the "tattling stage" of childhood.]   In the fall of 1997 I moved to Provo, UT.  I quickly met my soon-to-be husband (who at first I told that we should "just be friends" and then 6 months later I realized that he was everything I ever wanted and so I asked him if we could start hanging out again.)  We were married a few months later on June 19th, 1998. 

Here we are in Park City [2008] on a "Husband Appreciation Night", which was preceeded by many "Wife Appreciation Nights" prior to. We were going up the ski lift so we could go down the zip line! It was beautiful!


We've got two little ones:
o.k.  I have to clarify, I have a boy and a girl.  Someone left a comment saying I had two beautiful daughters, which made me laugh!  But this is my son.  Maybe he looks like a girl because of his hair?!?  I guess I should have put a better picture on.  I just love those curls!  There all gone now, so I guess I was just feeling sentimental when I wrote this post. :) 

o.k. is this better?
All of these pictures are a few years old.  I guess I better start snappin' some more these days.
But don't let their sweet little faces fool you, they can be as sassy and fiesty as their mom.

Here are a few little things about me:

*I've got 2 sisters & 2 brothers  All of which live out of state.  My parents moved here in June so now I FINALLY have some of my side of the family here.

*I'm sorry to admit this, but I'm not really an animal lover so no pets in this house [at least for now].  My childhood cat became an outdoor cat at one point and everytime he would come around me I would completely freeze up until someone would get it away from me.  I thought for sure it would claw me to death if I made any sudden moves.

*I've been told that I usually tell it like it is, but I like to think that I'm pretty nice about it though :) 

*I love decorating, scrapbooking and quilting.

*I am so not a fashionista.  I wish I were.  But I'm not.

*I have naturally curly hair that I get from my dad.

*I danced all through jr. high and high-school.  I got the "I don't get it award" at our end of the year banquet.  Nice huh?

*I always tell this one, but I have spent one night at a home for abandoned children when my parents left me at a Wendy's restaurant during a family vacation to Canada.  I was 8 years old.  They didn't realize I wasn't in the car when they left the restaurant.  There were probably about 9 kids and 4 adults in our van - so it was madness.  They realized I was missing the next morning when I wasn't in my bed.  Needless to say it was pretty traumatic for me [and I'm not a big fan of Wendy's].

*I have crazy, crazy dreams.  They're so vivid and I can usually remember every detail! 

*I am terrified of public speaking and with a good reason too - in Elementary school I ran for student council and when it was my turn to give my speech in front of the whole school I just stood up there and laughed.  For a long time.  I didn't go sit down.  I just stood there and laughed.  Why!!!  Oh, so embarrassing!  Needless to say, I'm not too comfortable with a microphone.

Well, that's enough about me.  Hope I didn't bore you guys too much!  If you feel so inclined to "Keep it Real" on your blog then send me a link.  We can all get to know each other a little better!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Quilters A.D.D.

Sorry I've been M.I.A. for a little while.  Feeling a little blah, I guess.  I've been doing a little of this and that, but not feeling like I have anything great to show for my efforts.  I finally took some pictures today of some projects that have been laying around my house.

First up, some Christmas ornaments.  That's right, Christmas ornaments.  I like to give my children an ornament in their stocking every year [usually one that contains a frame of some sort so that I can have pictures of them through the years on my Christmas tree].  Well, I guess I just didn't quite have it together this time around so the whole concept went out the door. Hey, I figure these kind of work for Valentine's Day too and what better time to get projects done for Christmas than 11 months beforehand!?!  Then there's not all the madness going on!  I'm sad to say that I looked and looked but for the life of me I could not find the tutorial again so unfortunately I don't know who to credit for this idea. 

[To whoever came up with this idea ~ Thank you! 
I'm not trying to take credit!  Just can't remember who you are!]

**O.K.  I just got a comment from Melissa over at the Polka Dot Chair and she was excited to see HER tutorial on MY blog.  So Melissa thank you and if you want to go see Melissa's version of these coaster ornaments go check out her blog!
I just found some coasters at the dollar store and used an eyelet setter-hole-puncher-thing [I think that's the correct term] to pound holes through them [which was way EASY!!!]  Then I punched holes in the pictures, glued the pictures on, added some rub-ons, a wire handle and some ribbon.  Easy peasy!
Then, on the back, I glued a piece of paper that had their name, the year and some little tid-bits about their happenings that year.
I have a feeling these will be some of my favorite ornaments next year, along with their little hand and foot ornaments.


Another project I've had laying around for quite a few days now is this little number.  I'm getting ready to quilt it on my machine.  I took some of your advice from my last quilting experience and asked the hubby to pick me up some basting pins the last time he was out.  He only came home with one pack so I'll have to get some more another time.  A little thing about me, I guess I kind of try to make do with what I've got.  I go far too long with a nick in my rotary blade, my ironing pad is totally stained and I use straight pins instead of basting pins when I machine quilt.  I guess I'd rather buy fabric then have the best of all that, but I'm realizing that I need to splurge on that kind of stuff once in a while too.

I don't know if I've publicly said this before, but I've had this Schnibbles pattern [& the fabric for it] for a while now and I sort of gave up on it when I realized how small the pieces were.  Because I planned to double or triple the original size of it, all of those small pieces didn't sound too appealing.  But I'm happy to report that I got a second wind and started working on it again.  Here's what I've got so far.  I was thinking I may use it as a shower curtain, but now I'm thinking that it still might not be big enough.  As you can see, I've still got a long way to go.

Oh, I did finish this top, but it might be a while before I'm able to have it quilted.
For now I'm just enjoying it's colors.  And it's ric rac. 

I did end up hiring someone to make my pattern cover sheets for me and they look SO much better!  I can't believe I was even considering using the ones that I made.  I'm really excited [and a little tired of this whole saga] but the printer said that everything looks fantastic now, so they're compiling proofs that are exactly like what the finished product will be and I should be able to look at them this afternoon. 
*Actually they just called and they're ready for me to look at!!!

Well, that's all for now.  Have a wonderful day!